Legacy - Carnegie Institution - Database

As one of the first privately-funded scientific research organizations in the United States, the Carnegie Institution recognizes the importance of preserving its documentary heritage. Toward this end, it has initiated the Carnegie Legacy Project to preserve, organize, and make accessible to the public the institution's historic records.

"The Archives of the Carnegie Institution of Washington preserve the historically significant records of the Institution and make them available to Institution personnel, scientists, historians, and other scholars. The Archives document the activities of the Institution's administration and its research departments and the professional activities of its staff members."
—Mission Statement.

Funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Carnegie Legacy Project began in July 2003 as a unified approach to preserving, organizing, and making accessible the Institution's historic records at its Washington, DC, headquarters and each of its six research departments. The Legacy Project Committee coordinates the current phase of the project (scheduled to last until July 2005) to process and reference material, and to initiate outreach activities at both its P Street administration building and its Broad Branch Road campus.


The documentary heritage of the Carnegie Institution captures the spirit of scientific investigation, ranging from circumnavigation of the globe in the early 1900s to contemporary “travels” into the expanses of the universe and the depths of living cells. The Carnegie Legacy Project will disseminate knowledge of the Institution’s scientific heritage in a way that encourages interest, awareness, and understanding of the contributions of scientific exploration and experimentation in American history. The overriding goal of the Carnegie Legacy Project is to encourage in a wide audience a deeper understanding and appreciation of the spirit and drive of science.

The Carnegie Legacy Project welcomes inquiries.